Derek Jeter / Bubba Sparxxx, Shakira
December 1, 2001


Big thanks to Sean for posting this (today is Thursday, I just got it in under the wire). Okay, this is the fifth installment of my rambling and reviews, and I'm anxious to get started, so let me just briefly take you through the "grading" process. Most people use either a "A-F" scale, or a "1-10" scale. However, personally, I feel that's a bit limiting...so here's my scale: 1-100 (easy enough). As an example (with apologies to American Bandstand): "it's got a good comic rhythm and you can laugh to it, I give it an 84". Also, I'll annotate the host with an asterick (*). Okay, let's rock!

OPENING - Ashcroft & Bush
Darrell Hammond, Will Ferrell
These guys are two of the best impersonators on SNL. I liked how they took a couple of actual quotes from our current government rhetoric. This bit quickly turned into a spinoff of Foxworthy's "You Might Be a Redneck If..." This annoyed me for a moment, as I figured the writers were too lazy to create original material. So many writers and hack comics bite his material without even paying homage to it. However, I'm glad they quickly totally acknowledged what they were doing, which made it even funnier. Favorite line: "If you have a long beard, live in the desert, and were not in ZZ Top...you might be a terrorist."
Grade -- 98

MONOLOGUE
Derek Jeter(*)
Good, tight monologue. But c'mon Derek...can we please STOP swaying back and forth, I'm feeling seasick. I mean you're used to being in front of thousands of people in Yankee Stadium...just do what you do there...spit and scratch yourself. I really laughed hard at the foulballs destroying the audience...creative bit. But he's a ballplayer, so my hopes for the episode are not high. And the musical guests (two different guests on SNL?) are BubbaSparxxx and Shakira??? Okay, let the suckfest begin.
Grade -- 95

COMMERCIAL PARODY - Preparation H
Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Dean Edwards, Chris Kattan, Jeff Richards
The setup: skater thugs pitching hemmoroid cream. Nice parody of the "hip-hop" culture.
Grade -- 92

IGLESIAS BROTHERS
Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, Chris Kattan, Maya Rudolph, Derek Jeter(*), Rachel Dratch
Enrique swoons...Julio Jr prods...and Roberto has no clue! I didn't either, but it was funny to see big-bad ballplayer look foolish.
Grade -- 90

YANKEE WIVES CLUB
Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Derek Jeter(*)
Good bit about ballplayers' wives thinking they actually have jobs. Poehler's wig was coming loose (giving us a glimpse of her natural blonde). Jeter was completely reading cue-cards. You know, you'd think he'd be able to remember his lines, like he has to remember the signals from the third base coach. Regardless, he did well with self-referential humor...maybe there's hope for him and this episode yet. Yankees David Wells, David Cone do cameos as groupie skanks.
Grade -- 93

UPCOMING SHOW
Next week: Hugh Jackman and Mick Jagger. Can the announcer not read, or was that an inside joke? He said "Ralph" Jackman...maybe he meant "ROAR," as in when Jackman played a kick-ass Wolverine in the X-Men. Allright, next week should be a cool show...2 mutant freaks who can't die!
Grade -- 85 (not a Jagger fan, but maybe they'll be a special guest to sing the song)

MASSEUSE (thanks to the stage manager chick again)
Chris Kattan, Derek Jeter(*)
Kattan was a massage therapist with "tendencies." Jeter is his client, and once again can't deliver one line that's not on a cue card. He couldn't even answer a simply "yes or no" question, but Kattan covered for him. My local NBC affiliate shot their logo on the screen and covered Jeter's face for the rest of the bit, so I didn't get to see his reactions and expressions. Hilarious physical comedy as Kattan climbed all over Jeter. Nice comic twist at the end where Kattan was just fantasizing about Jeter, a customer at the Qwik-Mart.
Grade -- 90

COMMERCIAL PARODY - DISSING YOUR DOG
Will Ferrell
AWESOME!!! When yelling or spanking or snubbing your dog doesn't work...try sarcasm. "Oh no, Fido, don't get off the chair, I know what a hard day of lying around and licking yourself you had." Had to pause the tape to catch the small print: "Not for use with pitbulls, rottweilers, and Mexican fighting beagles. When subjected to sustained, prolonged redicule some toy breeds might express insomnia and/or severe depression."
Grade -- 98

MUSICAL GUEST - SHAKIRA
I'd never heard of this chick, but her bootyshaking DEFINITELY kept me from hitting fast-forward. The sound is a nice, smooth Latin groove...and her bod looks like a young Charo...Koochie, koochie, koochie indeed!
Grade -- 89

TACO HOLE
Maya Rudolph, Will Ferrell, Dean Edwards, Jimmy Fallon, Derek Jeter(*), Horatio Sanz
Song parody of "Kokamo"--"that's where we wanna go...Derek Jeter's Taco Hole." Jeter is very solid and confident in this bit, and Horatio has a good accent and character...holy believability, Batman.
Grade -- 82 (Clever, but not funny)

DEALING WITH MOM & DAD
Chris Kattan, Ana Gasteyer, Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Derek Jeter(*), Jeff Richards, Jimmy Fallon
"Man Your Kid Sucks!!!" I laughed my ass off. Great parody on those lame-ass kid shows on Disney. Jeter as a destructive influence on Kattan who can't learn to play baseball. The lesson: "if you can't join them...BEAT THEM!!!" Hilarious!!!
Grade -- 99

WEEKEND UPDATE
Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey
OOOOHHHH!!! Fey in that hot suit...SNL should consider doing a parody of the Canadian News Program "The Naked News," I know certain parts would be blurred, but at least we'd get to check out her legs, right? Nice jokes: Charlotte Church is fat, a Pee Wee Herman joke about where is it acceptable for him to masturbate, Chinese food is made of dogs, and an orgasm joke.
Point/Counter-Point: I like the old bits, hilarious...Jeter trying to persaude Meyers that he doesn't suck.
Grade (Fallon, Fey) -- 99 (A very nice tribute to George Harrison. Anybody else find it interesting that THIS is the story that broke the 2 month plus daily headlines advertising the war. Perhaps this is the proof that the Beatles were peace prophets sent from the heavens?)
Grade (Jeter, Meyers) -- 98 (would've liked to see the line "Derek, you ignorant slut")

OSAMA'S PEP TALK
Horatio Sanz, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers
This is the first Osama impression I've seen, and Ferrell nailed the mannerisms...especially the limpwrist way Osama holds the mic. I loved the way the Taliban/al Queada men treated him as if he was that annoying boss, that you don't trust but have to listen to anyways. The "staff meeting" was complete with audio feedback, a heckler, and the correction on the reward: "does Osama look like he is JUST worth $20 Million? It's $25 Million, and don't you forget it." Irrevrent, yet tactful.
Grade -- 98

THE PERM
Horatio Sanz, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Derek Jeter(*), Will Ferrell
What an absurd concept. I liked this one-joke bit because of Jeter's total acceptance and infatuation with his perm (who knew he could act? pay attention Tracy). Great characters and lines: "It looks like 'porno hair'." The ending was a predictable, but funny pattern of three. Perms are back in style...yeah, right!
Grade -- 96

MUSICAL GUEST - BubbaSparxxx
"Get your hands up! Get your hands up! Get your hands up...and on the remote. ZIP! POOF! GONE! Dude should seriously think about doing comedy rap; he's got the look for it.
Grade -- 75

HOLIDAY TREAT
Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Tracy Morgan
Another song...what is this crap? Remember when SNL was about comedy sketches? Morgan in his first (and only) appearance of the night...thank God. Good chance to showcase real musical talent, but it was not funny...so I'm not going to hurt the overall grade of what so far is a great show by even rating it.
Not Graded

MY BIG THICK NOVEL
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Dear Sweet Jesus...make it stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Grade -- -5 (okay, now I AM grading this...ya'd think they'd friekin' learn by now...this bit sucks more than a gaping chest wound)

SUMMARY
Great beginning, great middle, good end. I would have to say so far this is the best show of the season. Horatio came a long way to redeeming himself (I previously voted him "Most Useless Castmember"). He actually played realistic, believable characters...maybe he overdosed on valium or something happened to mellow him out. It was a nice change. Jeter totally suprised me...I never would've thought he'd be such a comical guy. Great to see celebrities (even ballplayers) willing to have fun at their own expense. And that damn Kattan...hugging all over Shakira in the credits...okay, I'm jealous.
Show Grade -- My calculator comes up with 86...but we'll give 2 "A-For-Effort" points to Horatio and make it an 88.

C-ya next time!


Episode Review written by Travis McElroy


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